CiteWeb id: 20152778783

CiteWeb score: 0

DOI: 10.1016/j.rbmo.2014.09.014

A number of physiological events, such as sperm hyperactivation, chemotaxis towards the egg, capacitation and acrosome reaction, are triggered by activation of sperm ion channels in response to a diverse range of chemical cues. Cation channel of sperm (CatSper), a sperm-specific ion channel, is unique in orchestrating the events for fertilization, and seems to be exclusively evolved for sperm function and male fertility. CatSper acts as a polymodal, chemosensory calcium channel and plays a vital role in the regulation of sperm hyperactivation. CatSper knockout models and application of patch clamp recordings have shown that it is indispensable for male fertility, and mutations and deletions in CatSper gene(s) may lead to infertility. In fact, mutations in CatSper1 and 2 have been identified in infertile individuals; however, CatSper3 and 4 have not been explored. Restricted localization and expression of CatSper in sperm offer an added advantage to developing gamete-based safe non-hormonal contraceptives. This review concisely covers identification, structure, function, and mechanism of action of CatSper channels. The functional importance of this complex ion channel in sperm motility and male fertility is highlighted for further research on male fertility, infertility, and contraception.

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